Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dark Divine Launch Party and Free Stuff!

Author Bree Despain's paranormal romance The Dark Divine officially launched at a lovely little Salt Lake indie bookstore, "The King's English," on Saturday, January 2, and if you missed the party, I'm sorry, because I went, and I got free purple nail polish to match my book cover.

But you'll get a second chance to win not only the nail polish, but a signed copy of Bree's book. I tell you about it in a minute.

Because first I have to say, I'm in print! name is in print.

First, go buy a copy of Bree's excellent book, The Dark Divine, which you will like so much better than Twilight, whether you love Twilight or not, then open up the back to the acknowledgments page and there I am.

I will explain.

I need to begin with a story, of course. Pull up a log.

There was once--about three and 1/2 years ago--a writing conference with a writing workshop like no other, with a wonderful, brilliant writing teacher named Martine Leavitt, who is also a wonderful, brilliant writer (if you haven't yet, you must read her Keturah and Lord Death and  Heck Superhero, and when you finish those move on to Tom Finder and The Dollmage, and...I have to stop somewhere, I guess).

This class was my kick-start into the fiction-writing world. In it I discovered that maybe I could write after all, and got an inkling of the fine, tall stack of books I needed to read, and a massive list of resources for navigating the publishing maze.

Mostly,  from Martine I got inspiration.

I met my agent, Stephen Fraser, at that conference, and was thoroughly impressed. That's the agent I want, I was thinking by the end of the week, but it took a couple of years before I dared submit anything to him. I didn't want to be rejected by my ideal agent.

In Martine's class were also a lot of gifted writers, one of whom (Bree) is now in print, and another about to be (Matthew Kirby, The Clockwork Three, also a great book which my relatives will be getting for next Christmas or birthdays, depending on its release date), and some of whom, Jamie, Julie, Gaylene, Kim, and Bree, turned into my critique group.

Hence, my name on Bree's acknowledgment page. Yes, we count ourselves lucky we got to read and critique it two years ago. And we've been following her path to publication with interest, excitement, and all that: from submissions, to Bree's finding her agent, the birth of her blog and website, to the offer from Egmont USA, and finally the release, at last. I feel like an aunt. Does baby have a touch of my nose? My hair or eyes? I'm thrilled. I feel like handing out bubble-gum and birth announcements. Which this pretty much is, if you haven't noticed. Actually, I'm handing out the baby, which is Bree's after all, not mine. More in a second.

So, the launch party. I hate getting my picture taken so that part was painful, but everything else, especially seeing so many writers and friends and writer-friends, was fun.

First, Bree, reading from The Dark Divine:

My cute daughter, with my friend and great writer A.E. Cannon (The Loser's Guide to Life and Love) and me:

Ann was the one who read my first 15 pages of Thrushbeard (which was about all I had, since it was a picture book first) and insisted that I finish and send it out. Bree and I were also in the same Ann Cannon workshop together in 2008.

My critique group sisters: Kim and Julie, minus Gaylene, Jamie, and Bree, who was busy signing.

With Julie and Matt Kirby, whose book I'll be giving out to my relatives this year:

Bree and me (matching purple shirts, except one of us--not me--has a chest and one doesn't) and my cute daughter:

Congratulations, Bree!

All right, now the FREEBIES:

So, here's the deal. I have an extra copy of The Dark Divine signed in purple ink, as well as matching official Dark Divine nail polish and I'm giving them away. To you. All you have to do is

become a follower or  subscribe to my blog and  

leave me a comment telling me that's what you did,

or, if you're already a follower, leave a comment before Wednesday, January 13th at midnight and tell me that's what you are,

and I'll enter you in my prize drawing.

I'll announce the winner Thursday, Jan., 14th,  and that person will need to email and tell me where to send it. If you're under age 18, I'll need your parent to write and give me consent.

Questions? Leave a comment :)


  1. I wished I could have made it but alas, I was sick. I did get a copy from Santa this year and have already, loved it! I was thrilled to see your name in the acknowledgments and then thought, "Well, of course! Elena is BRILLIANT!" And you are.

  2. Those are great pics Elena! And your daughter IS very cute ;)

    I've been dying to read The Dark Divine (it has the most awesome title and cover, I love it!) and would love, love, LOVE to read it!

    I'm already a subscriber :)

  3. Welcome to the 100+ Reading Challenge of 2010. I’m so excited to get this new year underway. I think there are going to be lots of great books published this year.

  4. I'm obviously already a subscriber. I'm blogging about your contest tomorrow, so hopefully some of my family and friends will also read your blog and discover how talented you are!

  5. L.T.: Sorry you've been sick. That's no fair. But I can't take credit for Dark Divine. It's just fun to see Bree published when she's worked so hard.

    Ali: Thanks! And you're going to love the book.

    J. Kaye: I think you're right about a great book year, and I'm excited about your challenge. What a great idea.

    Alyosha: Do you want to be entered in the drawing? I know you already have a signed copy, but that's fine. Thanks for promoting my blog:)

  6. I found your blog through Julie. I've now subscribed and can't wait spend more time reading your past posts.

  7. Sure, go ahead and enter me. I have plenty of people to give it to.

    And look, I already got you a follower. :)

  8. I also found your blog through Julie. I think she'd want me to have the book if she wins though. :) j/k. I tried to "become a follower" but I couldn't find the link, so I subscribed which is pretty much the same. Thanks for the insights.

  9. I'll totally give it to Sylvia if I win.

  10. I think that it is cool that you are all supportive of each other. Julie was kind to share you with all the rest of us.

  11. Allison, Sylvia and Jim: Welcome! Thanks for commenting. Hope you enjoy the blog.

    Sylvia: Ack! You caught me. I haven't been able to find a "become a follower" button to download. I'm not very techno-savvy. I just follow blogs through my blog dashboard, but subscribing works, too.

    Alyosha: I owe you. And I'll email that granola recipe asap. I've been taking down Christmas all day and cleaning my house, which I never do, so I thought I'd better not interrupt the momentum. I might never get it back.

  12. Nice posting, Elena. I don't usually come here to your site, but I was lead here by a link from somewhere else. Not astray, either.

    I look forward to reading Bree's book, and eventually yours, too, Elena. (In fact, I already took Bree's publisher to task for not releasing an ebook version of it at the same time as the hardback so I could get it for my Kindle.)

    Since I critique in a group of writers with Matt Kirby (Julie joined with us for awhile --- Hi Julie :)), I've heard all about Martine's help, Bree, Elena, Julie, etc.

    Anyway, my best to you and all of your writing friends and buddies.

  13. Thanks, wreddyornot. I've heard about your group, too. Good luck to you, too, and happy writing!

  14. All right, I found the followers gadget, so that should make things easier if you'd like to enter the contest. I'll figure out all this stuff eventually.

  15. I'm another family member of Julie's. Congratulations on publishing a book. I know how much hard work that entails.

  16. Maria: Welcome to the blog! Still working on publishing a book of my own, though. I was happy to have made the acknowledgments page in Bree's.

  17. I'm now a follower as well. Also through Julie. I read the book and I loved it! It was great!

  18. Hi, Super Pi! Thanks for signing up.


Blog Archive